The Fascinating and Beautiful Heather!!

Our lady wrap star, Heather (yes, our second last lady wrap star is also Heather – I couldn’t plan this sort of thing if I tried!) has been part of the Wrapunzel community since… well.. since before it was the Wrapunzel community!  Over the years I’ve caught bits and pieces of her story and about whom she is.  She always came off as such a warm, stable, articulate and just, well… such a cool person that I really wanted to know!  She is all kinds of awesome and I’m so happy to introduce her to you officially!  In a word, her story is FASCINATING.  A must read.  Here’s Heather!


First, I am INCREDIBLY honored to be asked to write for Andrea’s blog. It is definitely a high point for me in my covering journey! It’s been a rather bumpy one, and something that is not seen often where I live, in Southern West Virginia.

You don’t see many women like me in this community and buying from the store: women with beautiful tichels and adornments covering their hair. I’ve not had any rude comments as of this writing, but I HAVE had many compliments. My family is a mixed bag of support and reluctance. My husband is supportive of me covering (now), my father hasn’t said anything for or against it. My mother, though, is okay with it, so long as I don’t wear it in places that it would be seen as unusual. She asked me if I was going to “wear that thing” to a job interview. I told her that I was, that it was my head and if they had an issue with that, then I wouldn’t want to work there in the first place.  I have many cousins who love my tichels, and have expressed interest in purchasing and wearing their own (and I have offered my time to help them as soon as they want me to!) I see a few ladies covering their hair; it’s rare, but I have seen them. They wear the hijab, and it’s lovely, and I think quite brave of them, in all honesty. I always brace myself for a nasty comment when I leave my house, and while I HAVE gotten strange looks, I have yet to hear a snide remark. Good thing, too. I’m not as apt to take it as I was when I was younger.

As for religion, I’m not Jewish. I’m not Christian or Muslim either. I’m a very secular lady who has no religious reason at this time to cover. I did have one at one point, but I have done a lot of soul searching and found that religion is just not something that I feel is necessary in my life right now. It took a long time for me to admit, even to myself, that I fall into the agnostic atheist category, but I’m there, and I feel perfectly happy (though I do wish I had a local community to be a part of sometimes). I won’t reveal what religious beliefs I had after I left Christianity (I don’t want certain people to see this and decide they wouldn’t want to be part of my life anymore), but I will explain my coming to my current position as best I can.

Photo collage by Heather's husband - Heath!  He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!
Photo collage by Heather’s husband, Heath! He is a graphic artist and does awesome work!

So, where to begin the story of how I came to covering my hair? Well, I’ve heard that it’s best to start at the beginning, so here goes:

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. Ever since I was a child, I would take a lock of my hair and place it between my index and middle fingers and let it slide through. I loved (and still love) the silky, cool feeling of my hair moving between my fingers. A few strands would come out, but nothing major. It drove my parents up the wall, and they would always tell me to stop if they were in the same room with me. I also never could fix my hair properly. I tried so hard, and got so upset every day. It got to the point where I was begging my mother to help me fix my hair – and this was all the way into high school! I was just terrible with my hair. Makeup, I could do that! I rocked out makeup, manicures, etc. I even got asked to do prom makeup for people! But my hair just never did anything I asked it to do. So most of the time, when I was in college, I would just pull it back into a tight bun or a ponytail and let it go at that.

I also love coloring my hair. My natural color is a light reddish brown, but it’s currently dark brown/black (I’m a community theatre actress and I colored it for a role last summer). I have always wanted to wear funky colors in my hair, and I even went so far as to bleach it and color it teal in 2004! I LOVED it. Every morning I would get up and look at my hair, and was just amazed at how gorgeous the color looked. Unfortunately, it was a wash out color, and when it started looking dingy, I colored my hair black. It stayed that color until I moved home from college.

Well, that covers (no pun intended) how I feel about  my hair. Now let’s discuss how I came to love covering my hair:

I was raised Christian. I went to church, belonged to Christian school groups, read the Teen Bible, etc. I started seeing a guy who had books about OTHER religions. I had no idea that anything else really existed. We don’t have much religious diversity here (other than different denominations of Christianity). Anyway, I found a book that struck a chord in me and I devoted myself to the religion within its pages. I won’t elaborate on what that religion was, as I am not totally open with a lot of people in my area. (Following a different religion usually gets you harassed here.) During college, I grew apart from practicing ANY religion, mainly due to depression and sadness (I married the guy I was seeing and he became abusive). I left him in 2006, right after I gave birth to a son. After I met the man who would later become my actual husband, I began practicing my religion again, and I did so until recently.

During my reawakening, I began reading about the priestesses of Hestia and Hera, the Greek Goddesses of the hearth and home, and marriage and family, respectively. I have always been fascinated with ancient Greek mythology/theology and in all the research I did, I discovered something: both of those Goddesses wore VEILS! Their Priestesses wore VEILS! They all covered their hair! I was fascinated. I still am! I had never thought about covering my hair aside from doing it to keep it out of my face, but I saw that women used to cover their hair, that they would wear it like a crown. They were the Queens in their homes, in their marriages. That appealed to me greatly, and is a reason why I cover. I am the QUEEN of my life, and these tichels are my crowns! Then I found Andrea’s and Rivka Malka’s YouTube channels. I was absolutely smitten! I started wearing bandannas frequently around the house, doing my chores with a smile on my face. I felt much more connected somehow, and I couldn’t figure out why.

I was on Facebook a lot (as I still am) and a friend and I discovered a group that was for women with similar beliefs to me who covered their hair. I decided to give it a try, both the group AND the covering. The group wasn’t really for me, I found, and at the time, I wasn’t very good at covering. I didn’t have many scarves or veils, and I felt a little silly covering outside of the house because you just didn’t see that sort of thing here where I live. Not to mention that my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea (then anyway).

So, I stopped. For nearly 3 years.

During that three years, I became an agnostic atheist, which is to say that I am unsure if any higher power exists, and while I doubt, I cannot prove or disprove it. I lean towards the belief of no Deity at the moment, though I still believe Nature itself is divine and I celebrate the passing of the seasons, and mark the days with celebrations, even if it’s just a small acknowledgement of it. Because of that, I have no religious reason to cover my hair. None whatsoever.

But I rediscovered my love for it.

One day, out of the blue, I started covering again. It wasn’t something I set out to start doing, but I revisited Andrea’s blog and YouTube channel, and discovered Rivka Malka’s blog and YouTube channel. I went into my room and dug out my scarves and Israeli tichels (as I mentioned above, I didn’t have many at the time) and immediately began covering.

I suppose you could say I heard a call, not with my ears, but with my heart. I don’t believe it was a call from a Deity, personally, but more of my own desire to acknowledge something beautiful within myself. Right before, though, another group that I’m in had a couple of girls who decided to try and cover during domestic duties. They began to ask me about it. That reaffirmed my desire to start covering again. I cover every day, even at home, as it keeps me from sweeping up hair all the time and pulling my hair as well. Plus, it makes me feel gorgeous, and since it sits on my head, it keeps me mindful of things. It reminds me to use my head when I would rather use my heart when reacting to things. I am a very emotional person, and I have issues with anxiety and my tichels and headcovering practice helps me deal with it by giving me something to focus on rather than what is causing my anxiety. It also reminds me that I am a QUEEN – and I mean capital Q-U-E-E-N! I use that term to remind myself that I am in control of myself, my body, my mind, my spirit, my entire being. My tichel is my crown, and now my husband is on board with me covering (as he put it, it’s  my head and he would love me no matter what). I love discovering new combinations, new ways to tie. I even made a tie myself, that was inspired by The Girl with the Pearl Earring painting.

I have begun to do tutorials for women who are just starting out, because I can show my hair. I can show from beginning to end how I do it, and give them tips that they may not be able to see anywhere else, because I am able to show my hair as a secular woman with no commandment from a Deity to keep my hair to myself. Of course, I’m not knocking those who DO. It’s just not my particular calling, and if I can help a woman who feels it IS her duty to keep her hair for her husband but doesn’t know where to begin, I will do so. And I will love every minute of it!

Introducing the Amazing Stephanie!

I am so happy to introduce you to this wonderful woman.  Stephanie and I found each other over the internet when she was searching for hair covering resources, and recently we got to meet in person when she made a 4 hour drive to my hair covering workshop!  You can see some pictures of her at the workshop here.  Anyway, we talked for hours before and afterward, and I am so grateful to now call her a good friend.  She is hilarious, wise, warm, giving, and tells great stories!  Her journey and reasons for covering her hair are quite compelling, as you will read, and she does so beautifully!

wrapunzel stephanie lady wrap star

Hi Stephanie, do you have any nicknames?
I do, Steph, Stephers, Step-on-me (when the kids – church or family – wanna rough house), sweetie, hon, hey you, and on it goes. 🙂 The newest reference of me that I’ve heard was some little kids who couldn’t remember my name from church calling me “the lady who covers her head”.  I like that one.

How long have you been covering your hair?
I have been covering since approximately Nov of 2011, and I only cover part-time (we’ll get to the why).

What led to your decision to cover?
Well for me it’s an obedience thing.  I felt as though I was being led to do it after praying and studying on it for about 6 months.

When people ask you why you cover, what do you say?  Do you have a long and short version of what you tell people?
Yes there is a long and short version depending on how interested someone is.
Short version:  I choose to cover because I believe it has been asked of me in the Bible and i want to obey.
Long version: I wear one because I believe we are held accountable for what we know. In studying the Bible one night I read this: “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head” (the second word ‘head’ is referring to the order- God being head of Christ, Christ head of man, man head of woman- its explained right before that verse) 1 Corth 11:5. I certainly don’t want to dishonor my husband or God so I cover. Now there is a lot more to the verse (so please take a look at 1 Corinthians 11:3-16) but that specific part struck me. So I prayed about it for about 6 months and in that time I felt like God really wanted me to obey. I kept having “just obey Me in this” going thru my head. I did and I have felt like God has really blessed me for doing so. I wear them in church or anytime I’m in leadership or going to be publicly praying (and I let my husband define “public” for me). I have gotten to the point that if I am without my husband in public I will typically wear one (I go bare headed with him [unless we’re praying] since he loves my hair and I wish to respect him). I have tried many styles of covering but this one just fits me best. 😀

How has your community responded to your covering?
I live in a small town and to my knowledge I am the only non-muslim that covers in about a 50 mile radius (maybe more). That being said I do occasionally get the odd stare but typically no one seems to notice or care much, either way not a lot of attention is drawn to it, except for in church- I get ALOT of nice comments about it then – just this last week I had one of the older ladies look at my tichel and exclaim “you have GOT to show me how you tie those.”  Needless to say that made my day.

Any cool experiences/realizations you have had since starting to cover?
I’ve realized just how much I wish to be more modest- not that I wasn’t considered modest by general standards but I desired modesty more. I realized that modesty does NOT have to be drab and boring black – but about how wonderful the things are, big or small, that you share with just that one person that makes you whole.

What are your favourite scarves and accessories?
Oohhh thats a toughie!! I think for me my favorite scarves are the variegated ones (I have a brown, blue and pink variegated ones) the wonderful thing about them is you don’t have to exactly match the color since all shades are included. My favorite accessories hummm I have too many to decide!! I strongly suggest a silver and gold thin scarf since these make wonderful additions in color, I make my own flowers and often pin them in on the side or back on my bun. Stick pins are terrific!! They are getting harder to find, so again I started making my own, then I make matching earrings so I have a nice cohesive look. Regular pins/brooches work – they just can be a bit harder to get in, however any pin will help hold together your layers to keep from slipping!

What do you find is the best way for you to tie your scarves when you consider your colouring and face shape?
I like height in the back, the BIG bun look. I don’t like height so much on the front half of my head –  it seems to make my face MUCH rounder looking (so I stay away from the crown/dutch crown look). I also do a lot of the hanging tails (braided or not), I find that style helped me get used to not having my hair down to play with since I’m a hair twirler.

 Any secret tips or tricks that you have?
ABSOLUTELY!! 3 big ones! 2 smaller one.
1) It sounds odd I know, but honestly I never use an undercap, headband or wig grip (my head is too round they slip right off), I use a pair of pantyhose!! You can leave the legs on or off- your choice (if you leave them on you can make a bun of them). When I use that I have to work pretty hard to get it to slip off.
2) You can make it or buy it, but if you have thin or short hair and want it to look nice and bigger at the back get a ‘bun enhancer’ (I bought mine at icing by claires’- and they come in multi colors and sizes) I have heard of others making theirs from a bath scrubs and even socks, so the choice is yours!
3) I know you have heard this from many sources (including our dear Andrea) but really don’t forget to wear earrings (and maybe a necklace) they REALLY help finish off a look! Personally for my round face I find teardrop or dangles work best (I try to stay away from hoops, loops and studs) if you don’t have dangle earrings you can find a great set of gold,silver and black teardrops at target for $5 and it will go with ANYTHING! (love mine they were a present from my father-in-law.)
4) If you wear glasses and you keep your ears ‘in’ then make sure you don’t tie it too tight or you will end up w/ pain from the glasses digging in above your ears.
5) If you want your hair to look pretty decent when u take off your wrap DO NOT wrap while your hair is still wet. You will end up with weird frizziness and VERY flat hair.

Do you match your head scarf to your outfit or the other way around?
Well it depends I suppose. usually match the outfit to the scarf but if I get something new then I work the scarf around the outfit. Usually I go by mood – if I’m feeling pink or purple I’ll assemble an outfit and scarf around that.

What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for new friends, for my WONDERFUL husband, and a good day. 🙂